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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37702
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Blasphemous: A worship service put on by clowns?

EDMONTON - When a long-time member of his congregation asked if she and some amateur clowns could put on a worship service, Rev. Jim Lochhead had just one tiny request.

Could he be one of those who'd be painting up their faces and wearing funny clothes?

Last Sunday morning, Lochhead was among nine clowns who strode into the sanctuary at McClure United Church to the taped sounds of Send In The Clowns.
The pantomime worship service brought glorious laughter and applause. Best of all, the service apparently connected with the congregation at a deeper level. ...

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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2010/9/4 20:45Profile

Joined: 2009/5/9
Posts: 64

 Re: Blasphemous: A worship service put on by clowns?

Sometimes there just aren't words .....


 2010/9/4 21:04Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1033

 Re: Blasphemous: A worship service put on by clowns?

To the nation of Israel, for judgment, God has given the cup of drunkeness. It is always the fate of those who once had the true foundation of the faith and trampled it under foot. There should be a call to mourning and grief.


 2010/9/4 21:36Profile

Joined: 2010/5/17
Posts: 1175


I wonder if the pastor then proceeded to mime the sermon?

 2010/9/4 22:06Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3611


I have seen some clowns in the pulpit before, so this does not surprise me.



 2010/9/4 22:38Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


Is being a fool for Christ the same as being a Church Jester? This question touches on a larger question Ive been having recently with all of the experimental ways American Christians "do Church."

In my line of work, which involves designing, we struggle constantly with the problem of encoding messages that can be successfully decoded by an audience in a "language" they understand, while keeping the intended message intact. This is harder then it sounds! That is why I think pastors should resist the temptation to become new media tinkerers and experimenters.

When it comes to creating a message that transcends cultures and contexts, I honestly can say that I've never seen any message connect more successfully in more contexts then the bible. It befuddles me that pastors, who should be trained in scriptural exegesis, decide to become amateur cultural exegetes and reconstruct the gospel message in forms that detour from time-proven straight-forward biblical presentations.

They share methods with one another on how to design a presentation in a language the people understand, but never seem to care or notice that meaning of the message suffers or is downgraded in their experiment.

Why even introduce the symbolism of clowns that is so open to misunderstanding? At best, these experiments seem harmless but completely worst they undermine the gravity of their message. The best thing i could say about this story is that hopefully these people wore their big noses and floppy shoes with good intentions. In the end, these hi jinks seem like an example of ambiguous communication in which the clowning around adds annotation to the gospel that in turns undermines the least to this viewer. I enjoy humor, but when there is so much juggling with the word of God these days, this scene give me the tears of a clown.

These people can't take all the blame, because apparently "liturgical clowning" is an accepted type of "ministry" with an established history. As Dhuff suggested, the symbolism of this phrase and story needs no comment. It communicates on it's own.


Mike Compton

 2010/9/4 23:13Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4537

 Re: Blasphemous: A worship service put on by clowns?


When I was a teenager, I once visited a congregation that advertised "revival meetings." My youth pastor and I decided to attend.

After a few songs, the door to a prayer room opened and out popped a family of clowns! Seriously. Makeup...color suits...wigs...rubber noses...and big plastic shoes. The clowns told jokes, juggled and performed illusions. At the end of their performance, they wrapped up their message with "a merry heart is good medicine" and "it is okay for Christians to have fun."

For a while, I thought that we had mixed up the congregations from the advertisement. However, at the end of the meeting, the pastor urged the congregation to return the next evening for another night of "revival."

Needless to say, we didn't return.

What a sad state! The world is "going to Hell in a hand basket"...people are literally dying in their sin by the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS every single day...the "Church" (as an named association) is in a spiritual coma...and we literally have clowns performing on stages and calling it "revival."

*EDIT - This might be a good time to listen to A BURNING HEART by Leonard Ravenhill.


 2010/9/5 1:30Profile

Joined: 2006/6/10
Posts: 668
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada


Think it was Keith Daniel who said, "Entertainment in the pulpit is sin." Colin Peckham said, "When you see Jesus consecration is easy."


 2010/9/5 2:17Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3426
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: You're not clowning around, are you?

Please tell me you guys aren’t going to take up your stones and start throwing them at clowns now? I’m not advocating that clowns be in every service every Sunday at every church but come on! Some clowns and their ministry are not purely “entertainment” in the pulpit but actually a m.i.n.i.s.t.r.y.

Are you guys going to throw stones at the clowns who walk (ministering) up and down the halls of the Children’s Hospital comforting the kids?? Do you even pick days to go pray for the sick children? Oh so, they can minister, but just not in church? Is that it? What about Christmas parades?! I wonder if half of you even attend your local Christmas parades. That's where your neighbors are!!

I am by no means gifted as a clown but each of us do have gifts, you know! And it truly amazes me that some of you are so quick to jump on a bandwagon and stone a ministry just because it doesn’t meet your standards never taking the time to see if it meets God’s?

God help us all,

PS: Have any of you ever heard the term, “so holy you’re no earthly good?”


 2010/9/5 4:30Profile

Joined: 2010/3/2
Posts: 252


Hey you hard nosed non-clowns!

I loved reading this article. A good leader knows when he needs a little humor, consider the times.

 2010/9/5 9:30Profile

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